Mother Teresa

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Teresa, Mother

(Saint Teresa of Calcutta), 1910–97, Roman Catholic missionary in India, winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, b. Skopje (now in Macedonia) as Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu. Of Albanian parentage, she joined the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland at 18 and soon left for India, where she became a nun and taught school in Calcutta (now Kolkata) from 1931, becoming the school's principal in 1944. In 1948 she left the convent and founded the Missionaries of Charity (officially recognized 1950) to care for the poor. She became an Indian citizen in 1951. Her order now operates schools, hospitals, orphanages, and food centers worldwide; she stepped down as the order's leader in 1997. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016.


See her writings in In My Own Words (1996, comp. by J. L. González-Balado) and her letters in Come Be My Light (2007, ed. by B. Kolodiejchuk).

References in periodicals archive ?
Mother Teresa was too ill to see Diana but they met up weeks later at her convent in Rome.
At the talks being given by eminent theologians, Mother Teresa came and sat on my left.
A mass of pilgrims flooded the Vatican on Sunday to celebrate the highly anticipated canonization of Mother Teresa, an event that Catholics and non-Catholics alike had looked forward to since the nun's death in 1997.
Francis praised Mother Teresa as the merciful saint who defended the lives of the unborn, sick and abandoned - and who shamed world leaders for the "crimes of poverty they themselves created".
Applause erupted in the square even before Francis finished pronouncing the rite of canonization at the start of the Mass, evidence of the admiration Mother Teresa enjoyed from Christians and non-Christians alike.
Mother Teresa saw herself as ' small pencil in the hands of the Lord' and went about her work quietly, offering smiles and warm human gestures.
Mother Teresa devoted her entire life serving the poor and destitute people in India and her work has been recognised and acclaimed throughout the world.
The Missionaries of Charity gained world renown, and Mother Teresa a Nobel peace prize, by caring for the dying, the homeless and orphans gathered from the teeming streets of the city in eastern India.
Though Mother Teresa died in 1997, it's amazing how relevant the social issues she grappled with still are.
In May 1931, Mother Teresa made her First Profession of Vows and was sent to Calcutta, where she taught geography and history at Saint Mary's High school for Girl, a school dedicated to teaching girls from the poorest Bangali families.
There has never been a question about whether Mother Teresa would become a saint, but when it would happen.